NY pharmacies appeal to governor to sign bill to regulate industry

Pharmacies across the state say they won't be able to survive unless the governor signs the Pharmacy Rescue Package, new bills regulating the industry.

News 12 Staff

Dec 15, 2021, 10:52 PM

Updated 912 days ago

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Pharmacies across the state say they won't be able to survive unless the governor signs the Pharmacy Rescue Package, new bills regulating the industry.
Pharmacist Anthony Ciarletta says Grassy Sprain Pharmacy in Yonkers has been around 70 years, but he's now worried it could be the end. It's why he gathered outside Wednesday with state and local leaders.
"Independent pharmacies are hanging on by a thread," he says.
Ciarletta says that's because of pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs. They're middlemen between the insurance companies they work for and the pharmacies they reimburse for your prescription.
The Pharmacists Society says PBMs often reimburse pharmacies with much less than what drugs actually cost, forcing pharmacies to operate at a loss.
That's why pharmacists like Ciarletta want the governor to sign the Pharmacy Rescue Package into law right away. It would set a minimum reimbursement level and call for fair drug pricing.
The trade association representing PBMs says independent pharmacies are only growing - 25% more in New York in a decade.
The group claims the legislation would cost patients and health plan sponsors $28 billion in increased drug costs.
"They're going to fight tooth and nail and say whatever they have to say to get the governor not to sign it," says Ciarletta.
Phil Blando, CVS Health Spokesman:
“If enacted, these proposals would saddle New Yorkers with $28 billion in higher prescription drug costs in the coming decade without improving health care for patients. CVS Health respectfully urges Governor Hochul to veto these bills.”
A CVS spokesperson released the following statement: “If enacted, these proposals would saddle New Yorkers with $28 billion in higher prescription drug costs in the coming decade without improving health care for patients. CVS Health respectfully urges Governor Hochul to veto these bills.”


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